10-CD box (LP-size) with 216-page hardcover book, 296 tracks. Playing time approx. 752 mns.
Maybe it didn't bring about the social and economic equality that it strove for, but the American Left of the 1930s and 1940s did leave one lasting legacy: the urban folk song revival. The energetic, politically daring music of the Almanac Singers and its predecessors, contemporaries and successors continue to resonate through today's singer-songwriters.
Spanning the years 1926 to 1953,'Songs for Political Action: Folk Music, Topical Songs and the American Left' features nearly 300 extremely rare recordings on ten compact discs. It offers a comprehensive overview of this enduring music, focusing on its genesis among progressive urban intellectuals of the 1920s, the labor choruses and New York's socially conscious theatrical scene of the 1930s, to the Almanac Singers' influential, ground-breaking recordings. It continues through the war years and the postwar idealism of People's Songs and Henry Wallace's 1948 Presidential bid. These unifying high points were quickly eroded by the disturbing anti-Communist hysteria that bitterly divided and silenced many of these talented, dedicated performers.
This set includes a 212-page hardcover book documenting the era and the recordings it produced.
DISC ONE: THE LEFTIST ROOTS OF THE FOLK REVIVAL
Carl Sandburg, John Allison, Charles and Ruth Crawford Seeger, Aunt Molly Jackson, Sara Ogan Gunning, Tilman Cadle, John Handcox, Bob Miller, The New Singers and The Manhattan Chorus.
DISC TWO: THEATER AND CABARET PERFORMERS: 1936-1941
Mordecai Bauman, Earl Robinson, Paul Robeson, Tony Kraber, Saul Aaron, Harrison Dowd and Josh White.
DISC THREE: THE ALMANAC SINGERS: MARCH-JULY 1941
Songs For John Doe, Talking Union, Sod Buster Ballads, and Deep Sea Chanteys.
DISC FOUR: FIGHTING THE FASCISTS: 1942-1944
The Almanac Singers, The Priority Ramblers, Songs Of The Lincoln Brigade, The Union Boys.
DISC FIVE: WORLD WAR II AND THE FOLK REVIVAL
Earl Robinson, Dooley Wilson, Sir Lancelot, Vern Partlow, Woody Guthrie and Cisco Houston, and Citizen C.I.O.
DISC SIX: THE PEOPLE'S SONGS ERA: 1945-1949
Josh White, Lee Hays, Bob Claiborne, Bernie Asbel, Lord Invader, Brownie McGhee, Sis Cunningham, Malvina Reynolds, Bill Oliver, The Berries, Mario Casetta, Vern Partlow, Dick Blakeslee and others.
DISC SEVEN: PETE SEEGER: 1946-1948
With Ronnie Gilbert, Lee Hays, Hally Wood and others.
DISC EIGHT: CHARTER RECORDS: 1946-1949
Sir Lancelot, Goodson and Vale, People's Songs Chorus, The Berries, Pete Seeger, Mario Casetta, Betty Sanders, The Weavers and The Peekskill Story.
DISC NINE: CAMPAIGN SONGS: 1944-1949
1944 Roosevelt campaign: Earl Robinson, Josh White and Bill Oliver. 1946 F.T.A./Cannery Workers campaign: Vern Partlow and Mara Alexander. 1948 Henry Wallace/Glen Taylor Presidential campaign: Richard Huey, Royal Harmonaires, Abigail Alvarez, Paul Robeson, Michael Loring, Sis Cunningham, Bill Oliver, Malvina Reynolds, Sir Lancelot, Alan Lomax and others. 1949 mayoral campaigns: The Weavers, Hope Foye, Laura Duncan and others.
DISC TEN: AN ERA CLOSES: 1949-1953
Camp Unity's Freedom Theater, Gerald Gallant, Fred Hellerman, The Weavers, Ernie Lieberman, Hope Foye, Laura Duncan, Betty Sanders, Osborne Smith, Jewish Young Folksingers, Joe Glazer, Bill Friedland and Woody Guthrie.